Ecology encompasses the scientific study of all types of ecosystems around the world. In understanding how different organisms interact with their environment and with each other, we can hope to learn more about our own changing habitats and about the future of our planet. Taking on an ecology job abroad is the opportunity to gain insight into the world’s tremendous biodiversity; by uprooting from home and living in a foreign country, you might just learn a lot about yourself as well!
Why Work Abroad in Ecology
Finding work abroad in ecology is the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world where you are most fascinated by indigenous ecosystems. Whatever your particular job of interest within this broad and diverse field, there are opportunities for trained ecologists to fill a wide array of positions performing valuable services for local human and wildlife populations. If you are looking for a great adventure and esteemed work experience in the field, then pursuing a job abroad in ecology can be a truly life-changing decision.
Our planet is large and diverse; while searching for work abroad in ecology therein, you are limited only by your ambition. There are ongoing ecological research projects, policy planning, and preservation efforts occurring all over the world, so take the time to seek out as many different positions in as many different areas as possible.
Let’s begin by considering some of the biodiversity hotspots that are the most popular places to work abroad in ecology. Australia, China, India, and the United States are all examples of countries that are categorized as “megadiverse,” meaning that they are home to a large majority of earth’s endemic plant and animal species. These countries are also important leaders that the rest of the world takes cues from in sustainability and environmental policy, making them great all-around destinations to work abroad in ecology.
Other countries where you might travel to look for a job abroad in ecology include the European nations of Spain, France, or England, who are also important trend-setters in the field. Keep in mind during your job hunt that, while English-speaking positions are not uncommon, many employers will also expect you to be adept in the local language in order to be considered for hiring.
Jobs & Positions
Ecologists find themselves working a wide diversity of positions within an even wider array of habitats. Natural resource management, conservation biology, sustainable development, and urban planning are just a few specific subfields that many ecologists choose to seek out work abroad within.
As in other natural sciences, some positions are oriented toward pure research, while others are oriented toward practical application. Another consideration while looking for a job abroad in ecology is whether you will be working predominantly with human or wildlife populations. Subfields such as human ecology and urban ecology seek to understand and plan for human ecosystems, while many others in the realm of environmentalism focus more on preservation or conservation efforts.
Due to visa considerations, many jobs abroad in ecology are offered on a temporary basis. Work abroad programs within the field of ecology can give you the opportunity to travel to another country and work on a local project for anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years at a time. If you are looking for a more permanent career move, then another good bet is to apply directly to an international organization or company that has the resources to hire you locally and send you abroad.
Benefits & Challenges
Cultural Roots. In studying the development of ecosystems, it becomes apparent how many manifestations of human culture have their origins in the surrounding environment. Working a job abroad in ecology is a fascinating opportunity to place these two pieces of the puzzle together.
Biodiversity. Our planet is big and beautiful, and no one appreciates its natural complexity quite like ecologists. Finding work abroad in ecology can be the beginning of a long career path of perpetual of travelling, exploring, and learning.
Uphill Battle. As embedded ecosystems continue to face tremendous loss in the wake of human expansion, the work of ecologists is invaluable in understanding how our planet is changing, and what steps we might take to minimize any damaging repercussions.
Finding a job abroad in ecology is just the beginning; in both ensuring a positive, responsible human development and hedging any negative side-effects on surrounding ecosystems, there is much work to be done. What are you waiting for?